Abu Nasr al-Jawhari

Abu Nasr Isma'il ibn Hammad al-Jawhari (ابو نصرإسماعيل بن حماد الجوهري) also spelled al-Jauhari (died 1002 or 1008) was a Turkic[1][2] lexicographer and the author of a notable Arabic dictionary al-Ṣiḥāḥ fī al-lughah (الصحاح في اللغة).


He was born in the city of Farab[3] (Otrar) in Transoxiana (in today's southern Kazakhstan). He began his studies of the Arabic language in Farab,[3] then studied in Baghdad, continuing among the Arabs of the Hejaz,[4] then moving to northern Khurāsān, first to Damghan before settling finally at Nishapur).[3] It was here he met his death in a failed attempt at flight from the roof of a mosque, possibly due to delusions of being a bird.[5]


  • Taj al-Lugha wa Sihah al-Arabiya (الصحاح تاج اللغة وصحاح العربية)[6] "The Crown of Language and the Correct Arabic" - His magnum opus dictionary of Arabic; often abbreviated as al-Sihah fi al-Lugha, "The Correct Language", and al-Sihah (الصحاح).[7] It contains about 40,000 dictionary entries.[8] Written in Nishapur, it was incomplete at his death and completed by a student. Al-Jawhari uses an alphabetical ordering system with the last letter of a word's root being the first ordering criterion. Al-Sihah is a principal Arabic dictionary of the medieval era and later compilers of Arabic dictionaries incorporated its material. Over the centuries several abridgements and elaborations in Arabic were produced and a large portion was copied into the huge 13th century dictionary compilation Lisan al-Arab; published online at http://www.baheth.info.[4] A fully searchable online edition available at Baheth.info.
  • edition begun by E. Scheidius with a Latin translation, but one part only appeared at Harderwijk (1776)
  • Complete edition, Tabriz (1854)
  • Complete edition, Cairo (1865)
  • many abridged and Persian language editions.[9]

In 1729 Ibrahim Muteferrika's Arabic-Turkish dictionary, based on Jawhari's, became the first book printed by printing press of Ottoman era.[10]


  1. ^ الذهبي, شمس الدين. سير أعلام النبلاء - ج 25 : الفهارس 2 (in Arabic). IslamKotob.
  2. ^ L., Kopf. "al-D̲j̲awharī".
  3. ^ a b c Thatcher, Griffithes W. (1911). "Jauharī" . In Chisholm, Hugh (ed.). Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 15 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 281.
  4. ^ a b Book Arabic Lexicography: Its History..., by John A. Haywood, year 1965, chapter six: "The Ṣaḥāḥ of al-Jauharī".
  5. ^ Youssef, H. A., Youssef, F. A., & Dening, T. R. (1996). Evidence for the existence of schizophrenia in medieval Islamic society. History of Psychiatry, 7(25), 059. doi:10.1177/0957154x9600702503
  6. ^ Jawharī (al-), Ismail ibn Hammad (1979). Al-Ṣiḥāḥ fī al-lughah (in Arabic) (2 ed.). Bayrūt: Dār al-ʻIlm lil-Malāyīn.
  7. ^ Sprenger, p82
  8. ^ History of Humanity, edited by Muḥammad ʻAdnān Bakhīt, year 2000. The section headed "Grammar and Lexicography" written by Ahmad Yusuf Al-Hasan.
  9. ^ See library catalogs at Classify.OCLC.org. Also C. Brockelmann, Geschichte der arabischen Literatur (Weimar, 1898).
  10. ^ The al-Sihah of al-Jawhari was rendered as an Arabic–Turkish dictionary by Vankulu (died 1592) and was published in Istanbul in 1729. This publication is of significance in the history of publishing under the Ottomans, as discussed in the article about its publisher Ibrahim Muteferrika. Further information at ref Archived 2017-03-05 at the Wayback Machine.


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